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Simplicity: Grilled Red Snapper With Roasted Mixed Peppers and Asparagus


Growing up, many a family dinners were spent around a big plate of freshly blanched asparagus during Spring. When I saw the first asparagus at Boone Hall Farms, I could not resist. We’re eating lots of them! In salads with a lemon honey vinaigrette. In soups with a dab of creme fraiche. Charred with a sprinkle of sea salt and oregano. The farm also had the first strawberries of the season which is a good thing because I suspect a rabbit is eating the wild strawberries I planted last year.

I love Spring. Everything and everyone takes on a new attitude. It’s a rebirth. Since submitting the final book files to the printers last Monday, I have been experiencing my own rebirth so to speak. In a little over 5 weeks, four months of hard work will be coming together in a lovely binded package. So surreal. I gave it, I gave you my all. I have worked with the most wonderful team of editors and designers. So many emotions.

Red Snapper

Elated, calm, sleepy. I gave myself an entire day of doing stuff. Walking downtown with the dogs, taking B. out for dinner. Just stuff. Then it was back to shoots and new clients. Normalcy in craziness suits me fine it seems. Just as Heidi very mentioned in a post, after the work day is over, I crave repetition to keep me grounded. By the way, her new cookbook is stunning! I can’t wait to start cooking from it!

Simple things. On repeat. Favorite songs. Baking cookies. Eating asparagus and grilling fish almost daily. Simple things are essential to my inner peace. Living on the water, going to the dock to check on our crab traps or to the marina to get freshly caught fish is one of my little pleasures. When the fish guy showed up with freshly caught red snapper, you can bet I put a couple in my basket!

Mixed Mini Peppers

Our evening ritual now that the days are longer and the temperatures appropriate for shorts and t-shirts is to sit on the back deck with a cold drink while we grill and make small plates of salads, grilled bread with tomatoes and garlic, crunchy carrots and aioli. Grilled snapper with oregano served with roasted baby mixed peppers and asparagus. This is a typical dinner for us. Nothing grand but everything fresh and accompanied by simple preparations.

If only around dinner time, we can enjoy time slow down a bit. I certainly hope you will be able to crank the grill soon and enjoy simple and fresh flavors such as these.

Ah! I keep forgetting an important update: the book title has changed from "Foodography" to "Plate To Pixel. Digital Food Photography and Styling" the cover has been redesigned a little (see here) but it’s taking some time for booksellers to update their data base. The book will be available online worldwide through your country’s amazon page around late April and on bookstores shelves early May. Yep. It’s coming up soon!

Grilled Red Snapper

Grilled Red Snapper With Roasted Mixed Peppers and Asparagus:

serves 2

two small fresh red snappers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups mixed baby peppers left whole (or 1 small red and 1 small yellow peppers sliced lengthwise)
1 pound asparagus

Prepare the fish:
Preheat the grill to medium high.
Brush the red snappers with olive oil and sprinkle them with the oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Place on the grill racks and cook 4-5 minutes on each side.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375F (you can prepare the veggies on the grill too). Wash the asparagus. Break the bottom stems off and discard. Toss the asparagus spears and peppers in some olive oil, then place them on a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 12-14 minutes, or until tender and cooked through.

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Miss T March 26, 2011 um 10:41 pm

looking for dinner inspiration for tonight – you have just fixed that! Tres Magnifique!
Miss T

Tracy Grant March 26, 2011 um 11:02 pm

Gorgeous as always! I wish it was warm here..spring has sprung with morning digits well bellow zero!

I preordered your book today! So excited ๐Ÿ™‚

sweetsugarbean March 26, 2011 um 11:41 pm

A stunning snapper indeed!

KJ March 27, 2011 um 12:13 am

I love Red Snapper, but I have the hardest time cooking it. I wish I had a grill to give your method a try.

mycookinghut March 27, 2011 um 12:24 am

Looks delish! I love simple meal like this!

The Teacher Cooks March 27, 2011 um 1:54 am

I had the asparagus tonight, but no red snapper. Yours looks so good. Wish that I could get the fresh seafood. You are so lucky. Cannot wait for the cookbook!

Averie March 27, 2011 um 2:06 am

Helene..I love this post! The message, slow down around dinner time, real, whole food, prepared simply, without excess ingredients, just eating close to nature…i love this message.

Btw, I also featured your last recipe, the trifle cake, on my last post.

And your photography workshop, seriously thinking of going to NM. I am going to Boulder with Todd & Diane and Jen in August already.

Thanks for the lovely post!

marla March 27, 2011 um 2:36 am

My kinda meal girl. I gotta start cooking the whole dang fish instead of just the filets. Beautiful!

Anonymous March 27, 2011 um 9:33 am

would love to have this for lunch!

Maris (In Good Taste) March 27, 2011 um 10:34 am

This is something I have never tried but reading your post I am thinking I just may have to give it a try

Gen March 27, 2011 um 10:39 am

Cette recette est magnifique! De beaux produits et de belles saveurs!

29999 March 27, 2011 um 12:50 pm

Miam miam !!! Bisous !

angela@spinachtiger March 27, 2011 um 1:44 pm

Simple is the best food. I'll take this over over-prepared food any day.

Amanda March 27, 2011 um 11:22 pm

Fresh food, prepared simply is wonderful. Thank youfor the inspiration or dinner tonight!

yummy supper March 28, 2011 um 12:14 am

Congrats on finishing you book! And really enjoyed the simplicity of your post and how it captured the essence of Spring. Delish!

Brian Samuels Photography March 28, 2011 um 12:52 am

I am so desperately needing some days where we can grill a whole fish from our CSF that's been stuffed with lemon and herbs. Simplicity at its best.

A great post to remind me that warmer days are ahead.

Amy March 28, 2011 um 5:55 am

I'm so excited to learn that your book will be avaialble soon! ๐Ÿ™‚ As I enjoy your food styling and photography so much, I can't wait to get a copy of your book!

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench March 28, 2011 um 7:17 am

What a beautiful post – and I love the sound of your days! The craziness of the work balanced with the tranquility of time spent doing the simple things that bring you peace ๐Ÿ™‚

FoodFitnessFreshAir March 28, 2011 um 3:31 pm

Beautiful, beautiful photos. I just made my first asparagus recipe of the season as well. Do you have a Twitter in which I can follow?

girl March 28, 2011 um 4:34 pm

What a beautiful dish! I'll have to try this out!

Michelle Stiles March 28, 2011 um 5:00 pm

I am so excited for your book!

Rocky Mountain Woman March 28, 2011 um 7:51 pm

I just picked up my first asparagus of the season yesterday and it's actually creepy how excited I was to see it in the market…

Can't wait to see your book!!!!



Kim Herrington March 29, 2011 um 5:32 pm

I love the cover! I interned in the Blackwell division of Wiley and so enjoyed my time there. I'm glad to see your work and theirs together! Contests on the final stages!

SMITH BITES March 30, 2011 um 1:34 am

ahhhh Helene – our kinda meal; simple, beautiful food and enjoying just 'being'. we crave that too . . . although we do not have a lovely dock to hang our legs over or crab pots to check . . . but i shall live vicariously through you and Mr. B! we will make our way your direction soon!

Heather Christo March 31, 2011 um 12:15 am

*Sigh* beautiful pictures, beautiful food. thank you for sharing.

Unknown March 31, 2011 um 1:23 am

two of my favorites- fish and asparagus. Yours look yummy!

Unknown March 31, 2011 um 1:29 am

A lovely recipe.

Smoky Wok (formerly Tastes of Home) March 31, 2011 um 6:41 am

Love this recipe! Gorgeous shot of the red snapper, didn't know grilled fish can look so pretty ๐Ÿ™‚

Soma April 1, 2011 um 12:44 am

Simply beautiful! Light full of flavors and so absolutely right for this time. You rock!

sulemaniche April 1, 2011 um 6:35 am

lovely recipe

Karin – Trattoria April 1, 2011 um 12:44 pm

lovely pictures!

Sunitha April 1, 2011 um 2:23 pm

Beautiful pictures as always. I agree that simple ingredients always makes a dish stand out and taste delicious. Loved it!

snippets of thyme April 2, 2011 um 12:25 am

I was just watching an "Take Home Chef" episode and he cooked an entire fish. I really want to try this because we have a huge Asian market near us and I see people buying whole fish. This is encouraging to see your post. I need the courage to do it!

Jenn April 7, 2011 um 9:55 pm

Such a beautiful dish. You are so lucky to live close to the water and can have freshly caught fish!

The book looks fabulous – I can't wait until it comes out.

Portugal April 8, 2011 um 2:24 pm

Hello i am so delighted I discovered your blog, I actually discovered you by error, while I was searching Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a great blog posting and a all round absorbing blog (I also love the theme/design), I do not have time to read it all at the right now but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, !

Davida V April 10, 2011 um 11:20 am

I'm wondering if I can use any sort of fish with this recipe?
Unfortunately I don't live near the sea and I find it hard to get fresh fish where I live?
Can I use frozen?
I presume it won't taste as good as the fresh one.
Are there anyways I can add ingredients to compensate for the lack of flavor if I use frozen fish?

Buy Seafood Online April 11, 2011 um 12:17 pm

Wow this dish looks great. And thanks for this recipe. Any kind of fish could be used in this recipe.

Darina April 19, 2011 um 7:59 pm

I have preordered this book on Amazon in Canada and I'm really excited about learning more from you, Helen. Your photos are always an inspiration. Congratulations!

Madi @ Sit Down and Eat Your Peas! September 2, 2011 um 6:44 pm

These pictures are beautiful! I especially like how gorgeous you made the raw snapper look! Loove red snapper! Planning on seafood next week, this'll HAVE to be on my menu!

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